The widespread adoption of electronic medical records could assist more industry to industry collaborations in the future, whereby sharing information, scientists can shave off years of research and increase the rate of discovery of novel therapies.
William Hill, Head of IT Asia Pacific & Japan of Banyu Pharmaceuticals, offers his thoughts on this issue ahead of the Japanese CIO Summit being held in Tokyo in September. Tokyo-based Banyu is a Japanese subsidiary of Merck.
According to Hill, medical records in many, if not all, countries are paper-based. “As we begin to look at the possibility of creating electronic medical records that creates a significant benefits in treating patients. We can understand the patient profile from the medical records and we can conduct clinical studies of novel compounds based on patient pool or profiles that we can tap into.”
As a result, more effective outcomes in treating patients with new therapies that are not currently available to meet their medical needs, may be fast tracked. “We can definitely accelerate the actual compound being approved because we can really progress on those patients in great need of novel therapy that’s unavailable today. Creating electronic medical records can create significant benefit to the patient but it is not so easy to do because of costs associated with doing this work.”
Hill says that in Japan the government is keen to look at the opportunity to create electronic medical records in order to have a strategic advantage over managing common diseases in the country. However, despite it being a progressive idea, he admits there are huge costs associated with this move as well as privacy concerns.
He identifies a further collaboration opportunity of pharmaceutical and medical device companies coming together to monitor a patient’s conditions and effectively managing their disease. “That’s where we can make sure a patient adheres to the therapy that’s required to manage diabetes or cholesterol but having the technology to support the patients. It’s not just the pharma company providing medication but medical device companies having that data collection that can feed into the pharma company to provide the necessary medication to ensure that they manage enough diseases.”
Electronic records are a great innovation to ensure more drugs are developed that are more relevant to treating prevalent diseases, he concludes.
The marcus evans Japanese CIO Summit is being held in Tokyo, 1-3 September, 2010.
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